Good Fruit Grower

December 2012

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GOOD POINT Jim McFerson, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission Cherry and stone fruit Special Project Assessment s a tree fruit grower in Washington State, you are involved in a risky business. Some years the dice roll your way, some they don't. Managing your risk isn't getting any easier, and every year seems to bring a new set of challenges, some biological, some regulatory, some market-based, and some related to that great uncertainty, the weather. It is fair to say the expansion and viability of the Washington tree fruit industry owes a significant debt to technological innovations created by researchers and validated for commercial impact by extension profes- sionals. Those innovations include long-term storage, crop protection and IPM, weed control, irrigation prac- tices, new genetics and efficient production systems, crop load management....the list goes on. However, you Washington tree fruit growers are unique nationally and internationally in one way of dealing with risk. Since 1969, growers have supported the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission by pay- ing an annual production-based assessment—investing your own dollars in finding research and extension solu- tions to the most important problems you face in crop production and handling. ATV Pollen Applicator FirmYield Pollen's The Research Commission is the legacy of industry leaders like Grady Auvil, George Ing, and Tom Mathison, who were instrumental in its founding in 1969. Since then, the WTFRC has supported the development and delivery of science-based knowledge to improve the profitability and sustainability of its producers. Other commodity organizations pay necessary attention to maintaining and expanding market access, dealing with government regulations and customer demands, pro- viding educational and advocacy functions, and so on, but none focus as intently as the WTFRC on research and extension. A nine-member board and around 100 crop commit- tee members define research priorities and strive to invest your dollars wisely. While not all investments pay off and research is inherently risky, WTRFC's work has helped the Washington tree fruit industry expand its presence nationally and internationally by developing and delivering solutions in that range of industry chal- lenges I highlighted earlier: long-term storage, crop pro- tection and IPM, weed control, irrigation practices, new genetics and efficient production systems, and crop load management. Recently, the Research Commission took another step intended to maintain this legacy and build towards a stronger future for our industry. It presented a referendum to the growers for a Special Project Assess- ment to dramatically and permanently expand the resources available to Washington State University for tree fruit research and extension activities at its centers in Prosser and Wenatchee. Revenues from the assess- ment would be used to create endowments whose annual interest income would be used to create endowed research chairs, transform information and technology transfer activities, and sustainably support dedicated research orchards. WSU Washington State University, our state's land grant university, has long been the principal provider of research and extension activities to the tree fruit indus- try and is now consistently ranked among the top ag universities in the nation. The Research Commission concluded that adding to WSU's capability made sense and would create a new legacy to continue WSU's trajec- tory of technological innovation and engagement with the state's tree fruit industry. In August 2012, the Special Project Assessment refer- endum was passed by the apple and pear growers of Washington, but failed to garner enough votes from cherry and stone fruit growers. As a result, apple and pear growers, but not cherry and stone fruit growers, will CONTROLLED POLLINATION HIGH QUALITY POLLEN and the Means to Apply It! for… • Apples • Pears • Cherries • Apricots • Plums • Increases the rate of pollen germination. • Increases honeybee activity • Effective with ATV pollen application or BeeBoster pollen inserts. WASHINGTON D&M Chemical Wilson Irrigation Michael Ellingson 509.678.5750 WASHINGTON 509.453.9983 66 DECEMBER 2012 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Central Valley, CA 559.287.8900 CALIFORNIA Tom Majors Phone 509/453-4656 • Fax: 509/469-3689 OREGON The Dalles, OR 541.340.9238 Tim Polehn OREGON Blue Mountain Growers Dennis Burkes 541.938.3391 509.520.0686 MICHIGAN Alpers Tree Sales Suttons Bay, MI 231.633.8358 N. EUROPE Fruit Consult 0031.653.410.921 Jan Peeters Come see us at the WA State Hort Show and the Great Lakes Expo in Michigan

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